Judge Higgins acquired the office of Justice of the Peace upon the retirement of Judge David Widmaier in 2021. Immediately upon taking office, he was selected as Associate Presiding Justice of the Peace for Navajo County. Prior to his appointment, Judge Higgins served as Superior Court Judge in Navajo County from 2012, and completed his service there as Presiding Judge.
Judge Higgins received his Juris Doctorate degree from Santa Clara University Law School. Before joining the Navajo County bench, he established a successful private practice and served as a deputy county attorney. Before receiving his law degree, Judge Higgins was a high school English teacher.
The Pinetop-Lakeside Justice Court handles misdemeanor criminal cases, civil traffic, felony initial appearances and preliminary hearings, orders of protection/harassment, evictions, and civil matters of $10,000 or less. The Precinct Six Justice Court serves the communities of Pinetop-Lakeside, Wagon Wheel, Show Low Lake, Hondah, McNary, Whiteriver, Ft. Apache, and Cibeque.